Nana and Felix is a Korean-Finnish artist duo who works in various media of visual art. Through a mix of satire, irony, and contradiction, the artist duo documents and depicts their environment into a new form of interpreted landscapes. They actively borrow and appropriate the traditional, cultural, or commercial imagery with references to art history. In the process, the duo is interested in discovering a new meaning in making analogue forms of art. Their projects explore and challenge the notions of social identity, economic ethics, cultural aesthetics, globalisation, and their effects on the urban environment.
Their artistic practice involves a distinctive working method, creating various artworks that belong to larger, themed projects. Each separate body of work has its own sub-themes that both support and challenge the main project. This dialectical approach stems from their situation of living between two countries and cultures. All their projects are conditioned by, and reflect on this duality; the sense of never entirely belonging and drifting in-between. In a constant effort of anchoring to somewhere concrete, their work draws a parallel between their personal situation and the surrounding environment.
In their first two projectsΒ So.Me.Β and The Zone System, the artist duo explored how photographic images are deployed when assigning humans into categories of race, gender, age, native population, and immigration in the realms of both product advertisement and political propaganda. By mimicking and manipulating photographic media and social surveys, both projects aim at exposing the absurd idea of self-expression that willingly feeds into the authoritative apparatus of control and surveillance.
Their following projects ProgressΒ and WEASTΒ were carried out between 2015 and 2018 in South Korea. Conditioned by the peculiar history of this country, both projects deal with a reversed version of cultural appropriation. These works examine the outcomes of a national project that had been developed based on misinterpreted ideas of how developed foreign countries (i.e. the West) look like. The works mix elements from traditional Korean art with modern, mundane cityscapes.
Their ongoing projectΒ 7 Hours of Future consists of a series of reinterpreted landscapes that portray actual, possible, and alternating realities of South Korea and Finland. From these two distant places, the artist duo focuses on the feelings of isolation, loss, alienation and melancholy arising from our era of constant economic-extractive progress and expansion. From differing angles they create works that treat as disparate issues as urbanisation, pollution, environmental decay, surveillance, monopoly market economy and global outsourcing of production as part of the same phenomenon. By exposing chains of cause and effect between Finland and South Korea, the project portrays not only how these countries exist in interdependence, but also how the consequences of local human economical activity reverberate globally.
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